That is the greeting that is heard through out the Chinese New Year festivities. This year the first day of the Year of the Tiger falls on February 14, 2010. It will be a quiet one for us this year, compared to last year when we were back home for the holidays.
It had been years and years (10, I think) since the last time I had celebrated CNY back home. For some reason, my trips back never coincided with the holiday, or was I fearing the relatives' inevitable and relentless questions about my single status...
Anyway, it was just as I remembered. The festive gathering of relatives, new clothes, lots of eating, the many rounds of loh sang*, and the angpow red packets. Us 'kids' also had to make sure we greeted each relative nice and loud with their correct title, like tai ku ma, sei ku jeong, sam suk, yi sum, sai yi or dad's oldest sister, husband of dad's fourth sister, dad's third younger brother, wife of dad's second younger brother, mom's youngest sister.
And the best part, getting to spend time with family, many of whom you'd only get to see once a year.
Wishing you a healthy and prosperous Year of the Tiger!
* yee sang - It is a tradition in Singapore and Malaysia to loh sang during the Chinese New Year. It is supposed to kick start an auspicious new year by collectively mixing the raw fish salad ingredients with chopsticks while saying phrases like "prosperity in the new year" "good health" "to a healthy stock market" and all that. ;-)